NFL Draft: Interview with Vanderbilt CB Jeremy Lucien

With almost all of the NFL teams searching for defensive help in the upcoming NFL Draft, Jeremy Lucien looks forward to potentially being a playmaker much like he was during his college years.

The Jersey-born Pennsylvania native was named to First Team All-Conference and Player of the Year Honorable Mention at Choate Rosemary Hall High School. Staying in Connecticut, Lucien attended UConn where he played 29 games. In those games, he had 57 total tackles. He then transferred to Vanderbilt and played in 13 games. He made 47 tackles, 33 solo, and had a Vanderbilt-best eight tackles against Ole Miss. 

After watching his older cousin play the game, Lucien’s inspiration to be a football player sparked. At seven years old, that’s when his career began.

“I guess each step of the way I didn’t start off fully thinking college football was something he was gonna do, step by step. I played youth football in Pennsylvania, went to boarding school in Connecticut then went to UConn.” Lucien said.

While at UConn, his college football experience was unique because of the pandemic. Since seven years old, he played football. His team still practiced, but wasn’t preparing for games. 

“It was definitely a blessing in disguise because it was essentially like I played my first two seasons there before the COVID. I played 20 games total, and then the COVID year was essentially a redshirt year,” Lucien said.

Because Lucien had two years of experience beforehand, he used the “redshirt COVID year” to his advantage to reflect and rehab, and it worked in his favor. 

“I definitely saw some really good results going into the 2021 season, that was the best season I had to date,” Lucien said.

Besides rehabbing and working on his skills, Lucien picked up a tasty hobby during his time at home.

“Because I was home for a while, I was kind of bored so I eventually started taking up cooking. That’s something I would like to pursue after my football career is over.” Lucien said.

He went on to discuss how he’s best at desserts. Every year around the holidays, he takes hundreds of orders across the Lehigh Valley for cinnamon rolls and delivers them to people.

Now, focusing on the draft, Lucien had extensive preparation in Fort Myers, Florida, giving props to the staff who helped him along the way. He enjoyed taking his career step-by-step but is excited to see how things play out.

“Going into the NFL has always been in my mind but now that I’m actually going through this process, it’s just cool to see all the different steps that are required,”

Garnering talent throughout his long career, Lucien’s tape shows more than he will tell about how talented he is on the field.

“I’ve thought about this a lot like a lot of people have asked me this over the years. I honestly couldn’t really tell you something specific that could set me apart because to be honest, I’ve always the kind of guy to focus on myself,” Lucien said. 

Regardless, his family is excited for him to be in this position. Lucien talked about how he and his father talk just about every day and discuss when a scout calls him or even if there’s advice about training. Much like with Lucien and other draft prospects’ families, the support translates to excellent play on the field. With guys like Micah Parsons and Sauce Gardner being immediate playmakers, Lucien wants to be next.

“I think it’s definitely really inspiring…especially a guy like Sauce Gardner who just had a really incredible year. Being that I play the same position, it’s super inspiring to me to see a guy who just entered the league at corner and coming in there and just doing his thing and holding his own,” Lucien said. “Sauce is a guy I look up to now for what he was able to do coming into this year, but Jalen Ramsey is another one,”

Lucien’s advice for younger football players is simple: trust the process and trust in yourself. If you mess up a play, evaluate and move on.

“As cliche as it sounds, I would say to continue to trust the process and put your head down and work. Even the greatest players who have ever played this sport face a lot of ups and downs,” Lucien said. “All that anyone could ask of you is that you try your best,”

Check out Jeremy Lucien’s full interview on the First & Jenn podcast.

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